Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Brexit uncertainties already affecting EU residents in Britain

According to research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) a high percentage of EU citizens resident and working in Britain are reviewing their situation in the event of a potential Brexit.

The sectors most likely to be affected are education and healthcare where up to 50% of  'foreign' staff have indicated that they 'might leave' due to the uncertainties surrounding Brexit, the CIPD reports. The situation is most serious for these sectors where wages are traditionally low and employers are obliged to 'fill the gaps' by recruiting teachers and nurses from outside Britain.

Other sectors that could be similarly affected, the CIPD notes, are hotels, catering and retail,  sectors where qualifications may be low and (foreign) workers comparatively cheap.

British prime minister Theresa May has stressed all along that she wishes to guarantee the position of EU citizens already living and working in Britain, in return for a similar deal covering British citizens living in other EU member states. And the British House of Lords are pressing for guarantees now, ahead of any formal agreement with the rest of the EU.

For their part, some EU member countries have already made encouraging noises about the position of British subjects already resident in France, Spain and Italy among others, but are awaiting the official start to negotiations which will last at least two years. However, any words of comfort pronounced now are subject to uncertainties, such as the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in France this spring.

Use of the word 'bargaining' in place of 'negotiating' is a worrying sign of uncertain times ahead for individuals who have decided to settle outside their country of origin and relied on the sovereign principles of the Europen Union of 'freedom of movement of people, goods, services and capital'.

Posted by peterdanton@orange.fr